Always the middle child. Always stuck between picture books and young adult novels. Often confused for chapter books. Sometimes they just don’t get the attention they deserve, do they? Well, your friendly bloggers Larissa, Susan and I have decided to do something about this by showcasing them in our next As The Eraser Burns Challenge!
I’m warning you – this one’s a toughie. And possibly insane, bordering on totally nuts, and thoroughly off-the-rocker.
Are you ready?
Okay, here it is.
We are officially announcing our MAY MID-GRADE MADNESS challenge, where participants will write an entire mid-grade rough draft in only . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . 72 HOURS!
No, that was not a typo. I said 72 hours!
And yes, we know. It’s crazy, huh? So maybe I better explain exactly how we came up with this idea by sharing the conversation the three of us recently had while leaving our favorite writing joint.
ME: I’m so in the mood to write a book. Just sit down, and crank out a short, sweet and simple book.
LARISSA: Oh my gosh, me, too! I’d love to just pound out an entire manuscript without thinking or stopping or any interruptions.
[Note: There’s a possibility Larissa did not say, “Oh my gosh.” I threw that in for extra color.]
ME: You know what? We should, like, totally do a writing marathon or something.
[Note: There’s a good possibility that I did, in fact, say “like” and “totally,” because I, like, totally talk like a teenager way too often.]
LARISSA: Yeah, where we write an entire manuscript in, say . . . three days! And we can work here at the coffee shop. What do you think, Susan?
SUSAN: Um . . . well . . .
[Note: I should mention that Susan had just finished a major, monster writing project. Asking her at that moment was like asking a runner who’s just crossed a marathon finish line if they’d like to do a triathlon the next day. She’s since recovered and is totally on board!]
LAURA: Awesome. I’m so in, but my April is crazy. How about we do it in May?
LARISSA: Okay, we can call it May Mid-Grade Madness!
LAURA: Love it! And there’s no sense in us suffering all by ourselves. Let’s post this on the blog and make EVERYONE do it. Susan? You in?
SUSAN: Man, I don’t know, I just finished up with . . .
LARISSA: Yay, Susan’s in!!
And there you have it, how us bloggers ladies came up with the May Mid-Grade Madness Challenge! So what do you say, my friends, are you also so in the mood to write a book? A short, sweet, simple book?
You are? AWESOME!! Now. Does anyone have any questions?
Yeah, when will this take place?
Susan, Larissa, and I have chosen to complete our challenge May 28th – 30th and we’ll be posting Facebook updates documenting our madness along with photos of us pulling out our hair. If those dates work for you, please join us! If not, then feel free to choose your own dates. However. It must be three consecutive days–no taking a week off and coming back to the project!
(Unless, of course, there’s an emergency.)
How long does my mid-grade manuscript have to be?
It must be at least 20,000 words . . . which, yes, is a lot, but we’ve already warned you this is going to be a tough challenge!
What if my story ends up being only 18,000 words, should I write blah-blah-blah over and over 2,000 times?
No, there’s no need to write blah-blah-blah over and over again because–seriously–writing an 18,000 word manuscript in three days is pretty stinking awesome. To make up those extra 2,000 words, you can either write a short story, start a new manuscript, or do an article on writing tips. (Bonus if you’re brave enough to share it on the blog!)
Can I do any plotting or characterizations beforehand!
Sure, go for it. 🙂
What do I get for finishing?
Well, besides the satisfaction of completing an amazingly tough challenge, you’ll also get a major shout-out on the blog, a deliciously chocolatey treat at the conference, plus four entries into our July conference raffle basket! Plus, there will be an extra-special prize for the writer with the highest word count. 🙂
Will I have to submit my entry to qualify?
Nope, we’re going by the honor system again because we trust you!
Do I have to write mid-grade or can it be another genre?
Yep, “May Picture Book Madness” just doesn’t have the same ring! But never fear–we’ll be having challenges in the near future for both PB and YA fans. Until then, come on, jump into the mid-grade pool. The water’s great!
Cool, I’m so in. How do I enter?
All you have to do is leave a comment with your commitment 72-hour dates. Then leave another comment with your final word count. However, we’d love to hear about your progress on the way either here on the blog or on our Facebook page!
That’s it! Piece of cake, right? Let’s do this, folks!
And as my final bit of motivation, I would like to point out that I’ve heard it mentioned how editors are really looking for mid-grades . . .
Good luck, everyone, and happy writing!